How to act on social media during a divorce
from David | December 31, 2020
Today most people cannot imagine their life without social media. More than 2.77 billion users of social networks, forums and blogs make up about 40% of the world’s population. On average, social media accounts for around 30% of all online time. While there is nothing wrong with having a Facebook or Twitter account, the information it contains can be used against its owner.
Can social media influence the divorce outcome?
Today’s legal practice takes into account changes in the information world and uses them to their advantage. For example, in divorce proceedings, judges have started accepting evidence in the form of screenshots from social accounts, recordings of conversations from instant messengers, and comments on various websites. As reported by CompleteCase.com, 24% of marriages ended for infidelity in the past year, and 27% of spouses found out about the matter by reading their partner’s online messages.
Right now, social networks are essentially a huge database of vast amounts of information on hundreds of millions of people around the world. It is an inexhaustible source of personal information about its users. This means that our profiles, messages and emails are very accessible to other people. Therefore, when initiating a divorce lawsuit, you must carefully control all of your online activity and make the most of it to your advantage. All you need to do is follow some basic rules on social media to contribute to the desired outcome of your divorce.
How you can benefit from social media
Social media like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and many others are colossal stores of valuable information. It can be used in many different ways, including improving your chances of getting the conditions you want after divorce. Below we offer several ways to benefit from the combination of social media activities and divorce proceedings.
Use information lawfully obtained.
Comments, posts, photos, and videos your spouse shares on social networks may seem inconsistent at first, but they contain valuable information that can be used to your advantage. We don’t recommend watching your spouse’s every move and looking for skeletons in the closet. Use only publicly available information such as Twitter posts, comments on Reddit, or videos on YouTube. For example, show the judge a photo from Instagram with your spouse’s unworthy behavior or screenshots of offensive statements addressed to you.
But be careful. Remember, you cannot use your spouse’s password to log into their account and collect the information you need. The information obtained illegally is not allowed in court and can get you in trouble as it is basically hacking which is against federal law.
Be careful with your communication style.
Good manners and common sense are very important for communicating on social media. Be honest, considerate, and polite. Your active use of social media during a divorce should be a tool in building your positive image. If you post something online during your divorce proceedings, choose only positive and truthful information. Use a neutral tone in all of your messages and comments and refrain from directly offending your spouse. The court can interpret harsh criticism and offensive statements as a tendency to aggression.
Remember that even if you delete your comments and contributions immediately after they have been published, they can reappear at the most inopportune moment, as nothing on the Internet will disappear without a trace. After all, someone may have taken a screenshot of your post before you deleted it. When it comes to correspondence with your spouse, be as polite as possible and don’t let your feelings get over your common sense.
Make sure your data is backed up.
With the advent of the digital age, it becomes more and more difficult to keep things secret. And even if you have absolutely nothing to hide, you need to protect the privacy of your data. All information can be taken out of context and misinterpreted. Therefore, minimize access as much as possible during the divorce proceedings.
First, change your passwords on social network accounts and make them private, especially if your ex-spouse has access to one of these accounts. Ask friends and family not to post information about you online. And don’t add new friends on Facebook or Instagram, especially if you’re not very familiar with them. One can be a fake account that your spouse, friends, or even a private investigator are monitoring you from to gather the information needed for use in court. If you need to send someone sensitive information, make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
How To Prevent Your Divorce Case From Damaging Your Divorce Case Through Social Media
One useful rule is that once you’ve downloaded something on social media, it’s almost impossible to hide anything. During a divorce, you need to conduct some conduct so as not to provide your future ex-spouse and their lawyer with anything to use against you during the trial. Your social media activity can harm you in various circumstances, which we discuss below.
If you are expecting to receive financial assistance after divorce
In the event of a divorce, financial assistance may be given to one spouse from another if there is a clear need to do so. Several factors are taken into account and in reality it is not that easy. That is why it is of the utmost importance to be careful about what you share and discuss with other people. If you’ve recently started a divorce and social media is your second home, at least try to sit tight for a while until it’s all over.
The first mistake people make is bragging about purchases on their social media pages. For example, they discuss and post photos from their trip to an expensive restaurant. This information is useful for the ex-spouse’s attorney who can use it to significantly reduce your financial assistance entitlements. Conversely, if you discover that your spouse started a profitable business or bought an interest in a company, you can bring evidence to court and ask for more alimony.
If you want to win a custody battle
The divorce of a married couple with underage children always raises a rather painful question: which parent will have the children after the separation? If spouses fail to reach a mutual agreement on child custody, it is up to a judge to determine the child’s custody parents.
Your life on social media can seriously affect your chances of receiving custody. For example, it is better not to share photos of parties and corporate events with alcoholic drinks in the frame. You can give your spouse’s attorney a chance to point out that you are unable to be a parent in the first place. As a result, the judge can transfer custody of children to your ex-spouse as the most important consideration they use in this process is to act in the best interests of an underage child.
If you want to improve your chances of winning the custody battle, showing on social media that you are a loving and responsible parent who spends time with your child is a good idea. Upload videos from your child’s school holidays or sporting events that you regularly attend. Your shared photos from the amusement park or children’s performances will be a great addition. The happy smiling face of the child next to you could persuade the judge to rule in your favor.
If you have a new relationship during the divorce process
Filing for divorce does not mean that you are free to do what you want. It primarily comes down to the situation when you have a new romantic relationship. Technically, you are still married so your spouse may accuse you of cheating. As a rule, attorneys do not recommend dating until the client has received a divorce decree.
If you still don’t want to wait that long in the meantime, at least try to keep your new relationship cautious on social networks. Don’t post photos with your date and convince them to do the same. Ask your friends not to tag you in their photos. Don’t leave romantic comments on your new friend’s page. In other words, keep your social media activity to a minimum. Do not give your spouse any information to use against you.
Social media can serve as a place for self-expression and relaxation, a source of positive emotions and useful experiences. Nobody says you have to give up media room privileges during a divorce. Be careful with your actions and think about any consequences they could have for your well-being after the divorce.